1984 Reading Log
Part 1 Sections 1 & 2
Winston Smith lives in a dystopian society where the government has total control. He lives in London, Oceania, one of the three superpowers of the world. He starts to doubt the teachings of the Party and question his identity.
"We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness" (Orwell 35).
What is the purpose of the Two Minutes Hate?
Why does the government uphold a paradoxical set of values such as "War is peace?"
Learning Station 1 - I Spy
He seems quiet and agreeable. He smiles often and finds many things funny, so he must have a good sense of humor. He likes to wear colorful socks.
I felt uncomfortable and awkward sitting and staring at someone. I didn't want them to find out because they would be embarrassed if they did.
Part 1 Sections 3-6
The government wishes to turn people into callous robots who know nothing more than the principles of the Party. People have no voice whatsoever; they are like drones who listen to and believe everything their commanders say. Winston's tacit thoughts and seemingly indelible memories are what could get him arrested. The government wants to keep people ignorant and quiescent so that they can "narrow the range of thought." The government also seems to keep many things clandestine and gives people little knowledge about its true purpose.
Part 1 Sections 7 & 8
1. How does Winston really feel about the dark-haired girl?
2. In what ways is Winston starting to think like a rebel?
3. Why is the government tricking people into thinking that there is a big Lottery prize?
Winston says he is aware that “...the [Lottery] prizes [are] largely imaginary. Only small sums [are] actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being non-existent persons” (Orwell 98). The government is getting its people worked up over a nonexistent big prize because they want people to live with the false hope that they will one day win the prize. Again, this goes back to the government wanting its people to think that the world is better and more hopeful that it really is.
Part 2 Sections 1-3
Something drew Julia and Winston together, and it wasn't just physical attraction. Both of them have a deep hatred for the Inner Party members. When Winston asks her what she sees in him, Julia explains, “I’m good at spotting people who don’t belong. As soon as I saw you I knew you were against them.” (Orwell 135). She is referring to the Party, the people who are robbing them of their freedom. Winston also says that he wants everyone to be corrupt and rebellious. Julia replies, “Well then, I ought to suit you, dear. I’m corrupt to the bones” (138). They are both against their government and together they may be able to uncover its ways.
"Big Brother is watching you." The government is constantly watching the Party members through spies and telescreens. The four Ministries, the Ministry of Truth, the Ministry of Peace, the Ministry of Plenty, and the Ministry of Love, are groups that control the Party members' daily lives. Through these Ministries, Big Brother is able to watch and regulate his people.
Part 1 Sections 4-8
“It was as though they were intentionally stepping nearer to their graves” (Orwell 153).
“Sometimes, too, they talked of engaging in active rebellion against the Party, but with no notion of how to take the first step" (165).
“By sharing a small act of thoughtcrime he had turned the two of them into accomplices” (172).
“If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love” (178).
“We want to join it and work for it. We are enemies of the Party. We disbelieve in the principles of Ingsoc. We are thought-criminals. We are also adulterers” (184).
Torture Article Summary
The human rights group believes that former president George W. Bush should be held accountable for the harsh torture of terrorism suspects. Two men died while they were in CIA custody due to torture. Kenneth Roth believes that President Obama should investigate and act on these crimes. Obama had ordered that torture not be used in the US upon taking office, but he did not enforce it as a strict law. In the end the government made torture illegal, saying that anyone torturing another person should know that it is indeed against the law.